Thank you, Adobe Reader 9!

Adobe Reader logoRecently I wrote a blog entry about bloated software, and how much better Foxit PDF reader was than Adobe Reader. But I was using Adobe Reader 8. Little did I know how much superior version 9 would be.

For starters, version 8 was a 22 MB download. Version 9 is a mere 33 MB — a whole major version up, and not even twice as big. The default download includes a 19 MB eBay Desktop program, for all your “faster searching, smarter bidding” needs. So tempting … but I opted out.

On my cable connection, it took about 5 minutes to download, nicely allowing me enough time to brew a decent cup of coffee while I waited.

But it wasn’t just a simple, ordinary download. First Adobe told me to download a Firefox plugin. I assumed the plugin would help me read PDFs in my browser. But oh no, this was a special plugin, an Adobe Reader Download Manager (TM) — a plugin specially designed to help Firefox download Adobe’s powerful PDF viewer.

After the plugin was installed and Firefox restarted, the download began. I couldn’t wait to try Adobe’s MUCH FASTER and SMARTER product.

Download done, I double-clicked the installer. It spent a long time unpacking and validating the installer, which gave me warm fuzzies about Adobe’s good grasp of stability, security, and enterprisey robustness.

After the unpacking, the install process itself took 10 minutes. I could only thank Adobe’s engineers, presuming they were filling up my hard drive with yummy icons, tasty DLLs, and amazing 3D JavaScript add-ons. No matter — the 210 MB it required was there to be used.

I had just slurped down the dregs of my coffee when the installer finished. I was so thankful when it told me I needed to restart my computer, welcoming the extra time to drink coffee, as well as the pure delight I knew I’d get from starting all my applications again.

I could finally try out this new software. I was impressed. It started in a minuscule 13 seconds, plus the time it took me to skim their poetic and beneficent license agreement.

Ah, the joy of using a new product. Unlike Microsoft products, Adobe’s new, bigger Reader behaves exactly the same as the old one. In fact, it’s so compatible I can’t even tell the difference! Boy, I know good release management when I see it …

Thank you, Adobe, for version 9 of your free PDF Reader. You even thought to put a nice link to on my Start Menu!

4 July 2008 by Ben    199 comments

49 comments and pings (oldest first)

Violent Sleep 12 Aug 2008, 01:01 link

Man that’s good to here. I’m going to gow download it right…

Oh hang on. I get it now. That’s clever. I think that’s porbably the most sarcasm I’ve ever seen in one article. Well done good sir.

Ping: Adobe 9 | AUTO JET 19 Aug 2008, 00:25 link

[…] You can’t make this stuff up. And apparently it gets worse if you try to, you know, actually install it. […]

[…] over to microBlog’s sarcastic post, “Thank you, Adobe Reader 9!” Then, download and use Foxit PDF or Sumatra PDF. They’re both […]

Fayyaz Pirzado 26 Aug 2008, 17:11 link

Thank you for free Adobe (v.9) PDF Reader it’s a great help for others, especially for developing countries

justanormalguy 9 Sep 2008, 21:09 link

*** Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! I was going crazy with the all too common problem of “missing data cab.1 file” that too many others were dealing with too. I knew this had to be a joke blog – no one but an Adobophile would think otherwise. Downloaded Sumatra and have had no problems. Thanks for the heads up! Sometimes it pays to stay up till the wee hours of the morning.

yman 27 Sep 2008, 04:02 link

In my opinion the new version of Adobe Reader software is the global standard for electronic document sharing. It is the only PDF viewer that can open and interact with all PDF documents. You can get it from here:

exAdobe Power user 4 Oct 2008, 13:34 link

A lot of us, including BUSINESS PARTNERS, are now looking at alternatives to Adobe Reader. My company is looking at distributing our products on other PDF viewers (like Firefox and others). Adobe has become a MONOPOLY that mistreats partners and customers alike. It was bad enough when they tried to force customers to upgrade every year – now they are trying to force annual upgrades to 3 different Acrobat 9 products/readers all at once. All in the name of revenue. What’s worse – those of us that are Adobe business partners are being eaten alive as Adobe works hard to keep it’s profit margin high in struggling times. The answer isn’t to keep forcing customers to upgrade, UPGRADE, UPGRADE TO 3 PRODUCTS, while putting partners out of business, it’s all about customer-centricity and partner centricity. Once the GREED stops, then customers AND partners will start coming back. Until then. Adobe sucks.

[…] of Micropledge has written an extremely funny and informative post, titled “Thank you, Adobe Reader 9!“, which says it all. Firefox users should especially […]

ame-chan 5 Oct 2008, 16:53 link

i seriously thought there was some praise in this post until i saw the last part about the desktop link. surely no one in their right mind would be happy about another desktop icon? ^^;

anyways i downloaded sumatra instead. thanks! :)

koyama 26 Oct 2008, 10:40 link

He.. I didn’t even get Adobe Reader 9 installed. When I tried to run the installer it stopped at 99.90%, then got an alert box “Epson Scan cannot be started”. Why on earth is it trying to launch Epson Scan? I came across this post when trying to find a solution. Now I instead installed SumatraPDF as suggested by others. Everything took less than a minute and I already like it…

bas 7 Nov 2008, 09:45 link

Okee, just upgraded to CS4 premium design suite for approx 700 euro.

comming from CS2, I hoped that Adobe would have learned somthing. I really hated CS2, so slow, so buggy, so totally unuser friendly. I liked Illustrator 10 better, but for the sakes of my clients I had to upgrade.

Adobe is a unique company in that thay are capable of making their products worse with every new release. This CS4 is on 2 DVD disks, takes about 50 minutes to install and then as it appears the help files are only available on-line. Adobe manuals were allready very bad ( but since CS we don’t get printed manuals anymore…) and these pdf help files are even worse: While we as users are mostly visually oriented graphic or media professionals, these manuals are 95% TEXT oriented.

Anyway I decided this to be my final last upgrade to any Adobe product. It wil get me going for some 3 or 4 years, after that I hope most professional software will be open source.

This company ( like Microsoft and Apple ) are so arrogant and stupid, I dislike them more every day.

[…] Bye Bye Adobe Acrobat Reader Wondering why my new XP install has already filled an 8GB partition, it turns out that Adobe Acrobat 9 takes up 210 MB of disk space. Astonished that a pdf reader could be so large, I googled “Adobe Reader bloat”.  For an entertaining and informative read check out […]

Koira Susi 14 Dec 2008, 12:42 link

My C drive was almost full, yet I was stupid and tried downloading Adobe 9, in order to install on my E drive. The piece of s*it installer asked about some directory, I gave an E drive temp directory, but no other alternatives or choices to specify where to put it. Consequently, the POS started installing on C drive without warning. After installed crashed because of “disk full”, it became totally illogical, as I couldn’t figure out why it had still eaten up almost all disk space, nor uninstall or run installer again. Finally, after trying all possible uninstalls, registry cleanups, deleting temp directories, etc. I found 113Mb unused crap it had put in “C:Documents and SettingsDesktopAdobe Reader 9 Installer”

I hope this helps someone else! I also recommend e.g. Foxit Reader instead….

Ping: Bookmarks about Windows 23 Jan 2009, 06:00 link

[…] – bookmarked by 4 members originally found by altlash on 2008-12-24 Thank you, Adobe Reader 9! – bookmarked by 4 members originally found by […]

addictionanime 23 Jan 2009, 09:55 link

love your sarcasm.

Ping: 27 months » The Vir… 10 Mar 2009, 06:24 link

[…] of the best attacks on bloatware ever, Thank you, Adobe Reader 9!, comes from Ben Hoyt, one of a trio of Kiwi brothers behind Brush Technology. His post is acerbic, […]

movaker 12 Apr 2009, 02:37 link

You must have a fast computer because I’m going on 30 minutes and 2 1/2 cups of coffee and the installation is still not done. Someone shoot me,I have more fun watching my fingernails grow.

I wish I would have read this before I started installing this crap in my computer.


paris 13 Apr 2009, 12:50 link

Adobe Reader 9 takes up 240 MB on my hard drive, which is unbelievable! And it’s not even a Pro version!

Any sane mind can not help but wonder what Adobe is really doing without your noticing it……

Hal A. 18 Apr 2009, 03:21 link

Did ANYONE bother reading this part of the license agreement?

“6.1 Use of PDF Files. When you use the Software to open a PDF file that has been enabled to display ads through registration with the Ads for Adobe PDF service, your computer may connect to a website operated by Adobe, an advertiser, or other third party. Your Internet Protocol (IP) address is sent when this happens. The party hosting the site may use technology to send (or “serve”) advertising or other electronic content that appears in or near the opened file. The website operator may also use JavaScript, web beacons (also known as action tags or single-pixel gifs), and other technologies to increase and measure the effectiveness of advertisements and to personalize advertising content.”

I suggest this is reason enough to uninstall this turkey!

genious03 9 May 2009, 07:48 link

it really does its job… gave a blue screen error…nd finally had to uninstall…lookin for some other PDF readr ny sugeestions(win vista hom prem)

[…] convinced? Perhaps I should get a bit more technical… The installer for Adobe Reader 9 is over 40 MB, installed that amounts to just under […]

Erik 30 May 2009, 02:40 link

OMG. I just updated from 9 to 9.1 and it took over a half hour of hard drive thrashing to finish the installation. I think I will uninstall it now so I won’t get screwed when 9.2 comes out.

Erik 30 May 2009, 03:42 link

Update: I did uninstall Adobe’s product and installed SumatraPDF. Wow, what a difference in speed. PDF’s load instantly and I can scroll as fast as I want. I guess the Adobe developers have been justifying their existence by inventing useless features and forcing unneeded updates. I guess I would do the same if I were them.

Chris a 11 Jul 2009, 23:28 link

Thank you oh thank you for giving me an alternative to the pox-ridden vista/adobe b*stard child that is adobe-reader. Vista security disabled print options and no amount of work I could do would fix it (DEP security etc). All sites kept blaming the other for the issues. 2 min installation from foxit and voila, hassle free printing! Thank you for sharing this and hooray for FOXIT!

da3dalus 5 Sep 2009, 05:38 link

Absolutely great post!Made me laugh a lot!Also thanks for telling me about FOXIT! Now I can finally get rid of Adobe Acrocrap Reader.

fantastic 9 Oct 2009, 06:48 link

thank you for sharing your experience. Mine was similar, though the download has been minimized to 25MB now, taking just 15 seconds to download and 4 minutes to install. I opted to NOT install the FireFox plugin for the download manager, but still had to restart FF anyway during the installation. it only took 5 seconds to start up (i didn’t reboot like it asked). but then, to my surprise, something wonderful happened… within 2 seconds of accepting the software agreement, i got a nice message:

An unhandled win32 exception occurred in Adobe_Updater.exe

YAY. GREAT job Adobe.

AD-OH ME! 26 Oct 2009, 07:31 link

Great article! Your narrative was reminiscent of the little fellow in “Christmas Story” getting so excited in his anticipation of receiving his B-B gun for Christmas! Funny!

I’ve noticed between your initial review and the most recent post on 9 Oct 2009, the program’s bloat has dropped from 210MB to only 25MB (actually today it is at 22.6MB). Wonder what it did—went on a diet?

Ben 26 Oct 2009, 08:37 link

Hi AD-OH ME! — actually, as I mentioned, the download size for version 9 was “only” 33MB. It was the installed size that was 210MB.

dawn 30 Dec 2009, 14:53 link

I prefer PDF viewer in MAC than Adobe reader 9. I cannot delete or combine pages with this Adobe Reader and it is FRUSTRATING. Life was so much simpler when I was able to use PDF Viewer. I had to download Adobe Reader for business reasons and now I feel hopless. PDF Viewer SideBar is the answer, what do I do now with Pages on the left. I am not left handed. This is frustrating, I need to delete pages and combine pages and am unable to with Adobe Reader 9. Help

Lozz 19 Feb 2010, 03:12 link

Just Downloaded AR 9 simply because i want to be able to select columns of text and Preview on mac doesnt do this, and I just cannot comprehend why it takes 210mb of my disk.

Unbelievable adobe. This is on a par with your pro apps, and this is just a reader!

[…] every review of PDF software (some examples here, here and here) starts or ends with the complaint that Adobe’s Reader is bloated “for some […]

[…] every review of PDF software (some examples here, here and here) starts or ends with the complaint that Adobe’s Reader is bloated “for some […]

Tom 8 May 2010, 03:52 link

Sorry if this has already been mentioned, but have you seen Acrobat 9 pro?

(drum roll, please)

2.13 Gigabytes !!!


Stroller111 1 Jun 2010, 02:51 link

I stumbled on your article after deciding to see what others had to say about Reader 9’s bloat, which is ~140Mb on my Win7 system. I removed it and am now using SumatraPDF for my viewing needs now. Thanks.

[…] old Jaiku contact), reminded me that I’ve been meaning to sort out a new alternative to the stupidly bloated Adobe […]

[…] in size (Adobe reader is more than 200MB these days after […]

Cuti 7 Dec 2010, 23:35 link

Enjoy reading! love your sarcasm.

Marcello 2 Mar 2011, 23:03 link

Wonderful article, but you forgot the ESSENTIAL step: performance optimization (don’t know the exact words, in italian it reads “ottimizzazione delle prestazioni in corso” which translate roughly to “optimizing performance…”). It’s not clear what they’re trying to optimize, other than giving you a few extra minutes to think twice about that moment when you double-clicked on that red-iconed installer…

[…] in size (Adobe reader is more than 200MB these days after […]

Hotel Bintang 3 di Jakarta 6 Dec 2011, 14:29 link

What an all around good article!!!

redes sociales 10 Dec 2011, 05:08 link

This post could not be more right..

tdks 1 Jan 2012, 08:48 link

move what in the what now? why bother with that and then having to disable auto-updates to remove that Update5 folder from your MyDocs? install foxit and be up and running in seconds – simple.with regards the article – excellent stuff! made me laugh out loud. especially the comment about the link in the start menu. whoever said sarcasm was the lowest form of wit? :)

[…] every review of PDF software (some examples here, here and here) starts or ends with the complaint that Adobe’s Reader is bloated “for some […]

danwat1234 20 Apr 2014, 11:44 link

The latest version of Foxit reader, version 6 is pretty big too! A 30MB download! I remember when foxit 2.2 was about a 3MB download and I still use version 2.2.

I hope Foxit comes with a lean, modern version because their newest is bloaty too.

[…] in size (Adobe reader is more than 200MB these days after […]

Shaunak De 21 Mar 2017, 20:55 link

Its so funny to see this post in 2017 when foxit has grown to the size of a small planet, and hands down Adobe outperforms it. Especially for science and math text.

Ben Hoyt 22 Mar 2017, 00:21 link

Shaunak — yep, 9 years later, and Foxit has gone the way of all flesh. Glad the competition forced Adobe to pick up their game, though!

[…] I’ve noted before, I’m not exactly in favour of bloatware. But in today’s “a GB here, a GB there” world, is small still […]

magnus 20 Nov 2017, 05:20 link

Why would anyone need that software (in 2017) ? Have you heard of Chrome. It has a builtin pdf-reader (without security problems (running in a sandbox)).

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